‘Regular eye checkup must for treating Diabetic Retinopathy’

SALEM: In view of World Diabetic Day, Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital offered free consultations till November end for diabetics who are 50 years of age or above.
Talking to reporters here on Wednesday, senior hospital consultant Dr. Rekha Priya said that India shoulders a burden of over 7 crore diabetics, ranking it second place globally. “With 4% of diabetics aged above 40, and around 3 million diabetics estimated to be at risk of blindness,” she said. She also said that the numbers clearly indicate the urgent need for spreading awareness about Diabetic Retinopathy and for effective screening and management to be made accessible across the country.
According to Rekha Priya, in the early stage, diabetic retinopathy remains totally asymptomatic. Hence, eye checkup is a must as soon as diabetes is diagnosed, and then once every year. People with mild stages of diabetic retinopathy should have their eyes checked once in six months, and those with moderate to severe condition, every three months. Pregnancy induced diabetes (gestational diabetes) also needs screening every three months during pregnancy, as diabetic retinopathy can progress faster during this period. The eye screening is a painless procedure, requiring dilated examination of the retina, eye scans and the hemoglobin test.
We can reduce the risk of developing Diabetic Retinopathy or stop it from getting worse by keeping our blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure under control. This can be done by making healthy lifestyle modifications like regular exercises, and dietary changes and proper diabetes medication.
“Hence, keeping blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control, and lifestyle will help in avoiding complications,” she concluded.